We have all lived through world changing events over the last two years with the Covid pandemic hitting everyone’s lives across the globe. The military were no exception and the pandemic stretched them in a number of different ways. The reserve forces found much of their training moving online as it was not deemed suitable to meet once a week in a drill hall where bubbles could not be maintained. For the regular forces, many found themselves assisting the civilian power with medical support and changes to uniform were made to reduce the risk of contagion. One such change was the introduction of official face masks for wear on duty. These masks were made of dark blue fabric, as seen here being worn by a sailor collecting money for the Poppy Appeal in 2020:
The masks were issued in a small plastic bag in packs of one:
The label on the front shows that it is an official mask, complete with NSN number:
The masks are dark blue, with a pair of adjustable tapes on either side to go over the ears:
The inside of the mask has a white absorbent liner to filter out particulates and water vapour from the wearer’s breath:
The mask came with an instruction sheet showing how to use and care for the mask:
The wearing of these masks has now come to an end as the pandemic has largely passed. As such they are an interesting reminder of a unique point in time and the way one of the armed forces in the UK responded to keeping its sailors safe.